Ahh the start of a New Year. Nothing like it. I love it ! In fact, New Years is one of my favorite holidays. I know it’s a ton of hype and usually overpriced. Yet, aside from a few rare birds, the majority of NYE celebrations in my adult life have been loads of fun.
This year I went to my neighborhood wine and beer bar, which is an honest to goodness a one minute walk from my house. Relaxed, low key, and no driving required. A few glasses of white wine and a champagne toast was perfect. It’s calm nights like these where I sense I’m heading (happily) into a new phase…my 30s!
2018 on the calendar started Monday. But mentally in my own little world, 2018 began yesterday when our holiday houseguests headed home. As an introvert, lives in a 2 bedroom apartment, and also happens to works from home—when I say that I breathed a sigh of relief, that is an UNDERstatement.
Now, I’m ready to jump into the year full force ! In the past, I’ve been pretty darn unsuccessful when it comes to resolutions, but it never stops me from making ‘em. Usually they are something related with health & fitness. I think the key part of the failure is making them far too broad with no specific processes to reach that outcome. “Lose X Pounds”, “get in ‘shape’ “, you get the idea…
This year, I’m taking a new approach. My initial plan was to make a financially related goal, but so much of my current goal setting revolves around that. The BIG one being debt free by end of 2018. (which by the way, I’m far exceeding < 20 weeks to go !). This isn’t to say I won’t have more finance goals that come up throughout the year, but really no need to belabor it more. I’m already focusing a ton of energy on this area of my life.
OK, so what about health and fitness? Turns out , I already have a goal for that too! I’m running my first half marathon the last weekend of February. My first 8 mile run EVER was this afternoon–woo hoo ! So, I’m feeling decent in that department too!
What’s left for a resolution then ? Totally kidding…a TON. One big realization for me throughout 2017 was just how much my mental and physical well-being affects my financial behavior. Therefore, I wanted to make a goal that would enhance my health and thus, indirectly positively impact my finances. So… I made 2 relatively easy, attainable, and FUN resolutions.
- 1. Make it to the Beach at least 1 X per month –This kind of resolution ain’t for everyone, but I live 30 minutes from a beautiful state park called Honeymoon Island. Living near a beach and palm trees was one of my dreams as a child, so it’s just darn sad that I haven’t been making this more of a priority in my life. I’m sorry to say that I went to the beach less than a handful of times in 2017.
What’s been holding me back? Waiting for other people to want to go with me, waiting for the “perfect weather”, and just waiting to make a whole day of it. Enough of the waiting, time for action! This resolution isn’t just to honor my former child. The beach gives me this feeling of clarity and calmness that’s hard to describe to any non-beach lover. Basically, it’s mental health in the form of sand and water.
This all sounds a bit spoiled and ludicrous to state this resolution as much of the country is being hit with a bomb cyclone (?), terribly cold temps, and loads of snow. But trust me, I don’t take a mild climate for granted. I set the goal of once per month to make it attainable and measurable. For example, If I just said, “go the beach more in 2018” I wouldn’t do it. The time I spend at the beach is not important–It could be an hour, half day, whole day. I can lounge, walk, run, swim, whatever I feel like in that moment. I can go by myself, with my partner, friends, or family. The point is to go in with an open mind and above all to Enjoy !!
- Read at least 25 books: I love to read ! As I have mentioned previously, I have been reading sooo much more since graduate school ended in 2016 and I have reignited my love of the library since moving to Tampa. So, why make this a resolution if I’m already doing it? I want a way to monitor my progress, and shift some of my attention away from screens in the evenings/weekends and on to what I enjoy (RE: Reading). Again, more enjoyment= better mental health= better financial habits. So essentially everything leads back to health & wealth ! Also, I’m sure I’ll read at least a few personal finance books, so that’s a win win for any Wisedebther ;).
Here are some resolutions that did not make the cut:
- Learn ‘how to blog’--Let’s face it . I have NO idea what I’m doing. Nor, do I really care. I’m pretty content (at least for now) with my blog being a personal diary of sorts. It’s offering me accountability on my own terms and having a Twitter account solely dedicated to the PF world has been enlightening and inspiring.
- Get a side-hustle— I’ve mentioned before my fails at securing some freelance income here and here. Again, for now I’ve realized I’m OK with that. I’m not saying that it won’t happen someday in the future, maybe even this year! As of now, it just hasn’t panned out. Currently, I’m enjoying learning how to live within my means based on my full-time salary and getting some R & R on the weekends. To each is their own as the saying goes…
- Take an international trip–Oh boy, this one was hard to keep off. I’ve been itching to get out of the country for a few years now. Not taking this dream off the table, but there are other considerations…particularly our savings to take said trip. Where do I want to go ? Everywhere ! Asia is one of my top picks because I’ve never been–Signapore, Thailand, China, the list goes on and on. Also, Europe is so so special for me <3. However, we have some work to do in getting our financial base stable before we just go ahead and take a YOLO Asia and/or Euro trip. As a result, I’m being realistic that this trip may be this year, or maybe it will be in 2019. However it ends up… it will be WITHIN our means.
Overall, I’m pretty jazzed up about 2018. Big things are a happenin’ : Debt free, Half Marathon, Beachin’, Reading, and TURNING 30! Here’s to learning and enjoying the year’s ride. Cheers to the NEW YEAR !